Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Website: Travellerspoint.com

A friendly, helpful and active community of travellers make this a great travel site.

Travellerspoint.com is a highly recommended travel website which is equally ideal for a travel beginner planning their first backpacking trip or an experienced traveller.  The website features a number of sections covering almost everything you could want from a travel website including detailed travel guides, travel blogs, a photography section and the section I personally use the most, the forums.

Niagara Falls ... just one of hundreds of travel photos on
the travellerspoint.com website.
These are organised into three categories (general travel forums, destination forums and community forums) with each category then being split into further sub-forums, so pretty much every subject you could want to discuss is covered.  For example the destination category includes a sub-forum for every continent (except Antarctica!) and the general travel category includes sub-forums for such topics as travel companions and travel photography, so it’s all very easy to navigate.

It’s also a very friendly community and new members are made to feel welcome.  I’ve come across other forums where if you deviate even slightly from some of the draconian forum rules you will instantly be hit with a stream of criticism from high-maintenance forum members informing you that you’ve contravened ‘article 4(ii) sub-section 7(a) of the forum regulations’ or whatever.  However, the travellerspoint community has a friendly welcoming vibe to it, and the more experienced forum members will generally try to answer any questions as helpfully as they can.

It’s also a give and take community, so whenever I’m travelling anywhere new I always use the forums on travellerspoint for advice from fellow travellers to help with my preparations, and in turn I try to check in from time to time and pass on the benefit of my own travel experiences to any first time backpackers.

As already mentioned though, the forums are just one of the features on the travellerspoint website.  Other useful sections include the travel guides and the travel blogs written by travellerspoint members wanting to record an online account of their global adventures.

Travellerspoint.com ... recommended for anyone planning to see the world.
These two features work well in conjunction with each other, and an effective strategy is to refer to the travel guides first to gain a general overview of a travel destination, then check out a few blog posts to gain a more personal insight based on fellow travellers own specific experiences.

The blogging community on travellerspoint.com is generally quite active with new blog posts being posted most days.  It’s also a truly global travelling community contributing to the blogs, so anyone planning a round-the-world trip will definitely find some of the articles useful reading.  For example at the time of this review there were recent articles posted on Bolivia, Everest, Cambodia, the Caribbean, Australia and many more destinations, as well as some posts providing an overview on travelling in general.

All in all anyone with an interest in travelling will definitely find a lot of varied and well written posts which provide entertaining reading.  Or alternatively, if you’re planning a trip yourself then starting your own blog is a cool way to keep your friends back home updated on your travels, while at the same time passing on the benefit of your experiences to other travellers.

Upload your own travel photos to the travel photography section.
Moving on to the travel guides, these are fairly detailed and include all the basic information you need to know about a country such as history, geography, climate, transport, visa information, money, language(s), food and accommodation, health and safety, as well as including information on cities of note and destinations worth visiting, many of which have their own detailed travel guides.

You can even contribute to a travel guide yourself if you fancy yourself as a travel writer, and anyone who contributes gets the chance to earn some cash as travellerspoint.com kindly split their advertising revenues with contributing writers.  Similarly, uploading your travel photos to the photography section can also earn yourself a percentage of any advertising revenues.  Or alternatively, you also have the option to donate any commission to Kiva, a non-profit organisation which provides loans to individuals in some of the poorer communities around the world looking to set themselves up in business and become self-sufficient.

Overall, it’s probably fair to say that travellerspoint.com is perhaps more tailored towards adventurous backpackers looking to see the world, rather than package tourists just looking for a relaxing week in the sun.  I’d also recommend it to anyone currently considering a backpacking trip looking for a reassuring nudge to give them the confidence to take the plunge and book their flight.

To sum things up, anyone heading off travelling in the next few months should definitely check out the travellerspoint.com website before they fly off and they’ll feel a lot more prepared for doing so.

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